Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir of Canada danced to victory on the final day of Skate Canada International. France’s Nathalie Péchalat and Fabian Bourzat took the silver medal and Canadians Kaitlyn Weaver and Andrew Poje earned the bronze, the first Grand Prix medal of their career.
Virtue and Moir posted a season best 103.12 (50.60 element score/52.52 program component score) and accumulated a total of 204.38, which was the highest score any dance couple has achieved so far this season.
“Tessa and I were extremely determined today to come out and to skate well," Moir said. "We obviously didn’t have our best skate yesterday. We just tried to stay as relaxed as possible. We knew we would have the energy that we would need."
Virtue and Moir perfromed a stellar dance to the “Adagietto” from Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5. The program was highlighted by difficult lifts including a curve-rotational with many changes of position and a straight-line lift with her standing unsupported on his leg and exiting with a little jump. Virtue and Moir earned a level four for all their lifts and the spin and a level three for the two step sequences.
Péchalat and Bourzat presented an innovative dance to “Kika” and “Requiem for a Dream” that featured interesting lifts and smooth footwork. They scored a season-best 93.47 (47.50/45.97) and earned a competition mark of 185.07. "It was quite perfect for us," Péchalat said. "We did our job without a mistake. Today was the first time (we’ve competed) in Canada and did the job. It will be good to go to the Olympic Games with this competition behind us."
Weaver and Poje danced to “Phantom of the Opera” and impressed with effortless lifts that all were awarded a level four. The Canadians received 82.28 points (42.10/40.18) and were ranked fourth in the free dance but overall remained in third place with 165.64 points.
"We were under a little pressure because we wanted to skate it well in front of everyone at home. Even though there were a couple of little mistakes, we feel very proud of what we put out there today. We definitely have room to grow before nationals but we’re happy about this performance," Weaver said.
Ekaterina Bobrova and Dmitri Soloviev (RUS) finished third in the free dance with a program to “Adagio” and overall pulled up from fifth to fourth at 161.68 points. Emily Samuelson and Evan Bates (USA) came in fifth with 160.76 points.
Virtue and Moir and Pechalat and Bourzat qualified for the ISU Grand Prix of Figure Skating Final.